Representative Mark Meadows (R., N.C.) plans to retire from Congress at the end of his term, he announced in a statement released Thursday.
Meadows, a staunch ally of President Trump, was one of the founders of the House Freedom Caucus in 2014. The caucus of about three dozen representatives voted as a bloc and were thus able to influence legislation in the Republican-controlled House to reflect conservative priorities on issues related to immigration and the size of government. In 2015, the caucus used its power to oust then-House speaker John Boehner.
“This was a decision I struggled with greatly. These last 8 years, I have been so blessed to serve the people of NC-11 and help give a voice to millions of Americans who feel Washington, D.C. has forgotten them,” he said in a statement.
“Since serving alongside President Trump, I have been a witness to historic economic prosperity, unemployment levels I only dreamed of when I took office, tax and regulatory reforms that are putting the American worker first, our Israeli embassy moved to Jerusalem, and trade deals that were once thought impossible,” he said. “I have seen our law enforcement and first responders receive the support they deserve and our military once again put on a path to maintain its superiority.”
Meadows and Freedom Caucus ally Jim Jordan (R., Ohio) saw much of their power dissipate in 2019 when Democrats assumed a majority in the House. The two have since allied with President Trump, especially during the impeachment inquiry against the president.
The impeachment process “has been a baseless, fact-free sham that ignores rules, obliterates precedent, and ultimately runs directly contrary to the will of the people,” Meadows wrote in a press release on Wednesday after the House voted to approve two articles of impeachment.
Meadows may go to work for Trump’s reelection campaign once he leaves office, but, as of now, he does not have a specific job offer.
“Obviously, I’ve looked at this as a temporary job,” Meadows told Politico, and added that he endorsed term limits. “Every year it’s a decision whether you’re going to run again.”
“This is not me shrinking away from a fight,” the congressman said of his retirement from the House. “In fact, it’s just going to be continuing to fight a different capacity, whether that’s officially as part of the Trump team or unofficially in my capacity as a sitting member of Congress.”
Senior Trump advisor Jared Kushner released a statement praising Meadows.
“Congressman Meadows has been a warrior for the president and a champion of his agenda,” Kushner wrote. “We have greatly valued his guidance for the last three years in the administration, and I have no doubt that Mark will play an important role going into 2020.”